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December 27, 2011 > VTA improves services in 2012

VTA improves services in 2012

Submitted By Brandi Childress

On January 9, 2012, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will implement changes to enhance service and transform the public transit commute. For instance, weekday frequency on Line 23 will be improved to operate every 10 minutes, instead of every 15 minutes, between 6:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. On VTA light rail, minor schedule changes will be made on both the Santa Teresa-Alum Rock and Winchester-Mountain View lines to improve schedule reliability. Also, the afternoon Commuter Express trains will leave Baypointe at 4:10, 4:41, and 5:11 p.m.

The most significant news is the introduction of new express buses that will transform the commute from an ordeal to a comfortable, convenient and hassle-free ride. VTA will begin operating new diesel-electric hybrid commuter buses designed specifically for VTA's Express Bus Service. The new vehicles are better-suited for longer commutes and feature amenities such as high-back seats, free on-board Wi-Fi, luggage racks, footrests and reading lights.

The new coaches will operate on VTA Express Lines 102, 103, 120, 121, 122, 182 and 183. Express Line 183 is new to VTA and will travel from Aborn & White Road to Fremont BART serving Evergreen and East San Jose area residents. Express Bus Line 120 will also offer extended routing from Fremont BART to the Shoreline area in Mountain View.

"VTA is pleased to be able to deploy these enhanced, low-emission vehicles on our express bus routes and I believe our riders will be pleased with the amenities on board, based on the feedback we receive from them," said VTA General Manager Michael Burns. "We're meeting the demand for public transit as more and more people replace their car trips with bus and light rail trips in order to save money and be more environmentally friendly."

Many changes are being implemented to the existing express routes in terms of routing, number of trips, scheduled times and stops observed as part of the Express Bus Business Plan that was approved by the VTA Board of Directors in March 2011. VTA acquired 20 new hybrid buses with an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, combined with California Proposition 1B funding. These buses will be phased into service during January and February 2012 as they are delivered from the manufacturer, Gillig Corp. of Hayward. VTA's long range plan is to replace all express buses with new vehicles as funding becomes available.

New service change information can be found on the VTA website at www.vta.org/nbs or by calling VTA's Customer Service Center. VTA's Google Trip Planner will also have the latest schedule information when the service change takes place on Monday, January 9, 2012.

For more information on service changes or for a customized trip plan, contact VTA Customer Service at (408) 321-2300; for the hearing impaired only call (408) 321-2330. Also log onto www.vta.org and sign-up to receive VTA email updates. Find VTA on Facebook at "SCVTA", Twitter at "SantaclaraVTA", and YouTube at www.youtube.com/scvta.

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